Google announced yesterday that they were adding automated email migration tools to the Premier and Education editions of Google Apps for Your Domain. The latter is free for educational institutions. The automated migration tool allows administrators to simply copy mail from their existing IMAP server to Google's servers. Google claims transfer rates of up to 2000 emails per minute.
This new feature is in addition to several others introduced recently and available freely to educational customers. New features include a built-in PowerPoint viewer, shared address books, and increased functionality of iGoogle, each user's personalized homepage. Particularly telling was the last part of this statement:
Now you can open PowerPoint attachments as slideshows without having to download anything. Just click 'View as slideshow' next to the .ppt attachment you want to preview. Since you can open .doc and .xls attachments with Google Docs and Spreadsheets too, there's no need to leave your web browser to view email attachments.
As we've noted before in this blog, the operating system will become increasingly irrelevant as more of what we do is browser-based. This is where we're headed, folks - whether we go there with Google remains to be seen. My Google-monogamy, for one is going just fine - no productivity apps for a week now and I'm still doing OK.